Shhhh, Michael Block is still sleeping — let him enjoy the rest. Although the weather is a little warmer in Texas than he’s accustomed to, a little sweat on his brow isn’t about to shake the darling of the PGA Championship from the spectacular slumber he’s currently enjoying.
On Tuesday, Block met with the media in advance of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, where he’ll be making a surprise appearance thanks to a sponsor’s exemption.
And he’s simply trying to keep this magical run alive for as long as he can, using his big showing to secure invites this week and at the upcoming RBC Canadian Open.
“I’ve said it a lot, but it’s just a dream. I’m just cruising. I’m actually kind of glad that at this point I haven’t come to the reality about what’s happening so I can actually play pretty good golf,” Block said. “I think, if I sit down and think about it too much, I’m not sure I could swing the club on Thursday.”
After an appearance for the ages at Oak Hill Country Club, one that earned the teaching pro a ticket to next year’s PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, Block has been in high demand. Block shot a 1-over 71 in the final round to finish T-15 at 1 over for the tournament.
“I really apologize to all my friends and fans and PGA members out there that have texted me. I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you. I literally scroll and scroll and scroll, and it’s never-ending,” Block said. “I can’t even get to the bottom of any of my feeds to even see how many or who’s seeing me. So it’s been crazy.”
For example, Block exchanged texts with Michael Jordan after a performance that included an astonishing hole-in-one, part of a $288,333 payday earned when he finished tied with Tyrrell Hatton and Eric Cole.
Even for Block, the message from the former Chicago Bulls star was a special one.
“I’m a big Jordan guy my whole life. I was a little kid in Iowa saving 100 bucks for a pair of Jordans back in the day,” Block said. “Pretty darn cool, to say the least.”
But it’s not like Block hasn’t hobnobbed with sports royalty before his surprise showing last week. He befriended Albert Pujols when the slugger was plying his craft in Los Angeles, and even has an invitation to the future baseball Hall of Famer’s wedding. He’s also close with Patrick Cantlay, with whom he often plays in Southern California.
Although the 46-year-old golf instructor at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, hasn’t known fame like this before, he’s been adjacent to it enough to understand it a bit.
“I’ve been around it in a weird kind of small way in little tidbits here and there over the last 10 years. So I’m somewhat comfortable with it,” he said. “It’s just weird now where I come up through a gate and the guys at the gate are screaming ‘Block Party’ when I’m going through, and the guy making me an omelet gave me knuckles and said I did awesome last week.
“I mean, that’s the part where it’s a little beyond me at this point. So it’s cool, but I’m trying to enjoy it. I feel somewhat natural with it, so it’s cool.”
Block has tried to soak in the adoration, as he spent time taking photos with fans throughout the week in Rochester and even spent time at a local watering hole after making the cut.
But even Block is a little uncertain how to handle some of the propositions he’s received in the last few days, including one person who offered him $30,000 for his 7-iron.
While he was flattered, he’ll need that club if he hopes to make another improbable charge this week. Although he finished well at Oak Hill, he missed the cut in the two previous starts he was given on the PGA Tour this season, one at the Farmers Insurance Open and the other at the American Express.
“I’ve had a couple different offers actually. It’s crazy, right? I’ve had a couple different offers, and the initial response was it was $50,000 and I’d hand deliver it. Kind of kiddingly, but I guess not really anymore,” he said.
“But I’ve had other people ask about it to maybe have it preserved in certain spots for the PGA, et cetera, stuff like that. So it’s up in the air. For right now it just needs to hit shots in there close for me, and I’ll go from there.”
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek